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Is The ICG IC4 Indoor Cycle A Smart Buy? [A Review]

icg ic4 indoor cycle review

The IC4 is one of ICG’s mid-range indoor cycles, giving folks access to elite cycling without the extravagant cost of some of their higher-end models.

Highlights of the IC4 include a fast spinning (1:10 gear ratio) rear-mounted flywheel, a sleek, heavy-duty frame, and 100 levels of magnetic resistance.

This cycle also comes with dual-compatible pedals, fully adjustable seat/handlebars, and a decent warranty.

The only real thing missing here is a console, but that’s why the IC4 is a little more affordable to begin with.

Overall, if you’re looking for an elite indoor cycle, the IC4 isn’t a bad choice by any means, but I think there are better options within ICG’s lineup.

But more on that later.

In this review, I’ll go over everything ICG’s IC4 has to offer – we’re talking specs, features, warranties, and everything else in between.

After reading, you’ll know whether or not this is the right cycle for your home gym.

The ICG IC4 Indoor Cycle

icg ic4 indoor cycle review

Image courtesy of Life Fitness

The Indoor Cycling Group (aka “ICG”) is a popular German based brand that’s become one of the most popular indoor cycle providers in Europe.

And now that ICG is owned by the same company that owns Life Fitness, I have a feeling they’re going to become one of the top cycling brands in the US as well.

It’s actually a perfect fit when you think about it – Life Fitness, a celebrated brand in its own right, now gets to fill out their indoor cycling lineup with ICG cycles.

Anyway, the point is ICG comes with an esteemed reputation and indoor cycling is what they specialize in.

Their lineup is changing a little, but they usually have 6-7 cycles to choose from.

The newer Ride CX is their most affordable cycle and costs around $1500, but most of their other models fall somewhere between $2k – $3k.

The IC4 we’re here to talk about now goes for around $2k or so.

P.S. – ICG’s IC4 isn’t to be confused with Schwinn’s IC4 – same name, but 2 completely different cycles.

Pros

  • 1:10 gear ratio
  • Fast spinning, lightweight flywheel
  • 100 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • 330 lb weight limit
  • Fully adjustable seat
  • Fully adjustable handlebars
  • Dual-compatible pedals
  • Decent home warranty
  • Dual water bottle holders
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • No console

Resistance

Indoor cycles have become really popular lately and at lot of it has to do with the facts that these bikes don’t take up much space, they can provide great workouts, and they’re fairly affordable when compared to other fitness machines.

They’re also designed to mimic the feel of riding a road bike, making them a top choice for elite cyclists who want to train indoors when riding outside isn’t an option.

Anyway, when comparing cycles, I always start with the resistance system because this is what determines how well the cycle is going to perform.

And for me, performance tops everything.

When it comes to indoor cycles and resistance systems, it really comes down to flywheel weight.

Most home exercise bikes are designed so that having a really heavy flywheel is beneficial because the extra weight helps build more momentum, which creates a smoother pedaling motion.

This is all fine and good, but there are other bikes, like the IC4, that are designed specifically for light flywheels.

When a cycle is designed effectively for a light flywheel, it’s all about getting that flywheel spinning really fast during workouts because the speed of the flywheel can also be used to create momentum.

The IC4 comes with a 7.6 lb flywheel, making it very light compared to the 30 lb+ flywheels found on most cycles these days.

But with a 1:10 gear ratio, the IC4’s flywheel spins a whole lot faster than these massive flywheels could ever dream of.

That gear ratio basically means the flywheel spins 10x for every complete pedal revolution.

Comparing light to heavy flywheels is really a matter of preference, but lighter flywheels tend to be a little gentler on your joints, as it isn’t as difficult to start or stop the flywheel.

ICG pairs this light flywheel with 100 levels of magnetic resistance, giving you a lot of control over the intensity of your workouts.

As a Peloton owner myself, I’ve come to love the 100 level system because you can make really small changes to your resistance throughout your workouts.

Oh, and like pretty much all elite cycles these days, the IC4 uses a belt drive, making for a very quiet experience.

Overall, the IC4 scores very highly with its fast spinning, light flywheel design and 100 levels of magnetic resistance.

Frame

At first glance, the rear-mounted flywheel is probably the first thing that catches your attention when looking at the IC4.

I agree, it looks great, but having the flywheel in the rear doesn’t really do anything from a performance perspective (although manufacturers will say it protects the flywheel from sweat damage, I’ve never had any issues with that on my front mounted bikes).

Regardless, what’s more important is how stable or secure the IC4 will feel during workouts.

This can be harder to determine from looks alone, but looking at the assembled weight can tell you a lot.

And if you ask me, heavier bikes are preferred because the extra weight makes them feel more secure during use.

The IC4 comes with an assembled weight of 110 lb, which is pretty good for a cycle, but it’s even better when we consider how light its flywheel is.

Most bikes have a massive flywheel jacking their assembled weight number up – the IC4 doesn’t.

Considering how heavy the IC4 is, you shouldn’t have to worry about the bike wobbling or feeling shaky during workouts and users pretty unanimously agree that this bike feels heavy-duty.

This bike also comes with a weight limit of 330 lb, which is high enough to allow folks of most sizes to use it safely.

And according to ICG, folks who are between 5’1″ and 7′ tall should be able to ride comfortably as well.

And with a footprint of roughly 52″ x 21″ (L x W), it won’t take up too much floor space either.

Overall, I like the rear-mounted flywheel design, but I like how heavy-duty this bike is even better.

Seat and Handlebars

The IC4 comes with a pretty standard seat, nothing too special going on there.

What’s worth mentioning though, is that the seat is fully adjustable, meaning you can adjust the height and horizontal (fore/aft) position easily.

This is common on bikes these days, but it’s still worth checking out because it does make it a lot easier to find a comfortable riding position.

The IC4 also comes with fully adjustable handlebars, which isn’t quite as common.

The handlebars are also multi-grip and covered with a soft PVC for added comfort.

The available grips on the handles are pretty standard, allowing for all the traditional grips during workouts.

Pedals

The IC4 also comes with dual-compatible pedals, meaning they have a toe cage on one side and SPD compatible clips on the other.

This is great because it allows you to choose between sneakers or riding cleats.

The toe cages are convenient because you can simply hop on and start riding in whatever shoes you’re wearing, but I have to say, riding with cleats is the way to go.

If you’ve never tried it before I highly encourage it because being attached to the pedals makes it more efficient to reach faster cadences.

Overall, it’s a nice touch that the pedals are dual-compatible.

Features

This is where I usually talk about consoles, built-in workouts, bluetooth, and all that stuff, but the IC4 doesn’t come with a console.

As I mentioned in the intro, the IC4 is designed to give folks a more affordable option and they kept cost down by not including a console.

This could be great if you like to do your own workouts or watch tv while riding.

But if you’re looking for a bike with metric tracking and bluetooth connectivity and all that, this is certainly not the right bike for you.

The IC4 does come with dual water bottle holders though, so there’s always that.

Assembly

If you do purchase this cycle, self assembly should be pretty easy, but it’ll be even easier if you have your own set if tools (including a socket wrench, Philips head screwdriver, and set of Allen wrenches).

The assembly process itself is very straightforward.

The main frame of the bike comes preassembled and you don’t have to mess with any internal components.

All you really have to do is attach the front/rear stabilizers, connect the handlebars, attach the pedals, and add a cover or 2.

Since there isn’t a console, you don’t have to mess with connecting cables or anything like that.

Overall, anybody who’s even remotely handy should be able to get this bike assembled in no time.

Warranty

ICG backs their IC4 Indoor Cycle with the following residential warranty:

  • 5 year frame
  • 3 year mechanical parts
  • 1 year wear items
  • 1 year labor

All things considered, this warranty is pretty decent for an elite spin bike.

A lot of high-end cycles only offer 5 years on the frame, even though Sole still offers a lifetime frame guarantee.

And 3 years on parts is also pretty average for elite cycles.

A year on labor is pretty standard operating procedure for all price ranges.

Overall, a solid home warranty, but nothing to write home about.

Final Thoughts

Ok, that about does it for the IC4.

Like all ICG cycles, the IC4 is high-end from top to bottom and I think ICG currently makes some of the best looking cycles around.

When it comes to performance, this cycle scores very highly with its 1:10 gear ratio and fast spinning, lightweight flywheel.

And you can’t beat 100 levels of magnetic resistance.

I also like how stable and heavy-duty the frame is and that it can hold bigger and taller riders comfortably.

But the fact that it doesn’t come with a console is kinda hard to get over – especially now that the Ride CX has joined the lineup.

I think the IC4 would’ve made a lot of sense before the Ride CX because you could save about $300 or so (compared to the IC5) and forego the console.

Which works if you don’t plan on using the console to begin with.

But now that the Ride CX is available, I really see no reason at all to opt for the IC4.

As far as I can tell, the Ride CX is damn near identical to the IC4 in terms of performance and specs (although I’ll admit the paint job on the IC4 is a bit sleeker) and it comes with their WattRate console, as well as an included tablet holder.

And did I mention the Ride CX costs about $500 less than the IC4?

So to wrap things up, sure the IC4 is a great indoor cycle, but to me it makes a lot more sense to save the cash and go with theirĀ Ride CX (whether you end up using the console or not).

 

Will

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